I imagine you have seen one or two articles (eg Liz Hunt in today's Telegraph) suggesting that it's irresponsible for Sarah Palin's daughter to be having her child and marrying the child's father.
My mother married my father when she was 21. I was born a year later, and my three sisters were born after me.
When we were all old enough to understand, she gathered us all round the table to tell us that when she was 17 she became pregnant. She wanted to keep the child, even though the child's father (not my father) ran away from his responsibilities. For months she squirrelled away as much as she could save and hid the pregnancy from her own parents for fear that they would not support her decision.
In the end, of course, she could not hide her pregnancy any longer. My grandmother, predictably, was horrifed and put her under enormous pressure to have the child adopted. My mother found no support from her parents for her decision to keep the child and in despair she agreed to have the child adopted through the Church of England Children's Society.
My mother gave birth to a girl one month early. During the birth she nearly died, slipping into a coma. But when she recovered, my grandmother (a) refused to allow the father of the child to visit my mother (he had had a change of heart and was intending to propose - he changed his mind again on being confronted by my grandmother), (b) shouted at a nurse for allowing my mother to hold the child in her arms lest she gather the strength to change her mind about adoption and (c) forced my mother to sign the adoption papers even though she was in no fit state of body or mind.
It was my mother's greatest regret that she allowed herself to be bullied by her mother into giving up her daughter for adoption. She always hoped that she would see her daughter again.
My half sister turned up a few years ago. She is a beautiful and wonderful woman with children of her own, who thankfully was raised by a loving family. Tragically, my mother had died a few years earlier and never met her first born daughter again.
But one thing I do know. She would have wanted her mother to treat her own pregnancy as Sarah Palin has treated her daughter's pregnancy.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
A Moving Tale
A reader emailed me this morning and has given me permission to share his email with you. It is very moving.